In the passage quoted below, Paul exhorts the church of Colossi concerning their gatherings–what to do, what sort of things to talk about, etc.
Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:16-17)
Richly . . . let the message dwell richly.
“Rich text” incorporates many options for expression not available in plain ol’ text . . . formatting choices, fonts, smiley faces maybe? I confess I don’t know what all is available through rich text on a computer, and I don’t know everything God makes available to us when His message dwells richly among us. That’s because there is no end to the riches or the richness of God.
Some of the ways God’s message can dwell richly among us listed here are:
Some other things we might see in a simple or organic church gathering could include:
The clincher is that all the things we do, we need to do in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. In the New Testament culture, the name represents the person and his nature. The things done must be the sort of things that CAN be done in the name of Jesus without contradicting all that His name means.
We also need to do these things with a grateful heart toward God, not in the interest of showing everyone else how knowledgable or spiritual or wise or insightful we are, nor how well we sing or plan an instrument, how beautifully we can paint or sculpt, or how adeptly we deliver a prophetic word. All things must be done with gratitude to God, who gave us the ability to do those things.
Here is what He said to me concerning the passage above:
There is more. This also applies to your life outside the body, though you are never truly “outside” the body, you are not always assembled together. On those days when you find yourself physically alone or feeling isolated, remember Me. Do everything in Me and you will do well. My name cannot be wrapped around falsehood, deceit, petty irritation, wrath, malice, self-centeredness, unkindness, or mindful disregard for the needs of others.
At this point, God placed a picture into my mind of a dove with multi-colored wings.
The expression of My Spirit is variety, gaity, joyfulness–hence the many colors. Yet all fit into a perfect pattern–the expression of My love through My church here on the earth. I adore My bride and I will lift her up to heights she has never even dreamed of. But first she must learn of the infinite variety of expression available to her. This abundance is a fraction only of what I have to show you. Experience Me richly–love Me purely and fully–bathe in My life-giving, living waters and see yourselves go from death to life; from gray to bright and dancing colors. From dull to delightful.”
Praise God. Go out and experience Him in the love of a fellow believer and in sharing that love not only with His followers, but with the world.
Grace and Peace, Cindy